Joanne Ward: 'Attending this one business.connected webinar alone could be a game-changer for my business.'

Joanne Ward: 'Attending this one business.connected webinar alone could be a game-changer for my business.'

Posted: Mon 16th Oct 2023

We partnered with Vodafone Business to launch business.connected, helping 800,000 small and medium-sized businesses take their digital skills to the next level over the next three years.

Business owners can take part in e-learning modules, digital workshops delivered by business.connected advisers and Lunch and Learn webinars, and have a free consultation with a Vodafone V-Hub adviser.

The business.connected programme covers a range of core digital topics, from SEO and e-commerce to cyber-security and connectivity.

We're catching up with some of the business owners who have been taking part in the initiative to find out about how it's benefited them so far.

Here, we talk to Joanne Ward of Doncaster-based Collective Change, a consultancy that helps organisations to increase their social and environmental impact.

How have you benefited from the business.connected resources so far?

So far, I've attended a really informative session about discovering AI tools for your business. All the AI workshops have been great.

We're so lucky to have access to this free training and knowledge from the experts! Things are moving fast in the AI world and small business owners like myself can benefit immensely from harnessing this technology. The support from Enterprise Nation has helped me greatly to see the potential of these tools.

Where did your idea come from and how did you turn it into a business?

For over 20 years, I've developed and supported other people to develop social enterprises. I've built a social enterprise from scratch and after 10 years it reached £1 million in turnover and employed 50 staff and trainees.

I'm extremely passionate about social enterprise as a business model as it has the capacity to create wins for a number of different stakeholders. The service I offer is to help businesses define, measure and shout about their impact.

What are some of the key challenges you've faced on your business journey?

Spinning the plates. There's a lot to do when setting up in business and it's sometimes difficult not to get overwhelmed by it all.


Watch this webinar on digital wellbeing and the importance of mental wellbeing when it comes to engaging online:


What's the best advice you've received while taking part in business.connected?

Just to have a go and make use of all the free AI tools out there. The presenters on the webinar, Celia Rizothanasi and Emma Goode, gave us information about a range of free tools that are available. Attending this one webinar session alone could be a game-changer for my business.

Finally, what advice would you give to anyone who's considering starting a business?

Keep believing in yourself and your idea. Keep moving forward with it, learning from organisations like Enterprise Nation and your network, taking action and refining. These small steps will soon gain momentum. 


business.connected: Grow your business with free digital training

Free video training, exclusive offers and workshops

The business.connected hub is a free online training programme of workshops, webinars and e-learning modules designed to help businesses go digital, adopt new technology, and stay safe online. Take me to the hub now

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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